NEW YORK (Dec. 27)
Dr. Otto Loewi, who achieved a Nobel prize-winning status as a physiologist in Austria before he was driven out when Hitler took over that country in 1938, died in his home here at the age of 89. At his death he was research professor of pharmacology at the New York University School of Medicine.
He was co-winner of the Nobel Prize in 1936 for his discovery that nerves could transmit signals to muscles by the use of chemicals. He was the discoverer of acetylcholine, one of the substances secreted by the vagus nerve which stimulates heart action. He also discovered another enzyme, which destroys acetylcholine. That discovery made possible modern theories of nerve action.
When Hitler moved into Austria, Dr. Loewi lost the professorship of pharmacology he had held for 29 years and was arrested by the Nazis. He was released on condition he leave the country. He arrived in the United States in 1940 and became a professor at NYU.
Born in Frankfurt-Am-Maim, he received his medical degree in 1896 from the University of Strasbourg and settled down at the University of Graz in 1909. Other research efforts by him covered the heart, kidney and other organs. In addition to the Nobel Prize, he received many other honors, medals, awards and degrees.